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Adapting rapid assessment procedures for implementation research using a team-based approach to analysis: a case example of patient quality and safety interventions in the ICU.

Holdsworth LM, Safaeinili N, Winget M, Lorenz KA, Lough M, Asch S, Malcolm E. Adapting rapid assessment procedures for implementation research using a team-based approach to analysis: a case example of patient quality and safety interventions in the ICU. Implementation science : IS. 2020 Feb 22; 15(1):12.

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BACKGROUND: Innovations to improve quality and safety in healthcare are increasingly complex, targeting multiple disciplines and organizational levels, and often requiring significant behavior change by those delivering care. Learning health systems must tackle the crucial task of understanding the implementation and effectiveness of complex interventions, but may be hampered in their efforts by limitations in study design imposed by business-cycle timelines and implementation into fast-paced clinical environments. Rapid assessment procedures are a pragmatic option for producing timely, contextually rich evaluative information about complex interventions implemented into dynamic clinical settings. METHODS: We describe our adaptation of rapid assessment procedures and introduce a rapid team-based analysis process using an example of an evaluation of an intensive care unit (ICU) redesign initiative aimed at improving patient safety in four academic medical centers across the USA. Steps in our approach included (1) iteratively working with stakeholders to develop evaluation questions; (2) integration of implementation science frameworks into field guides and analytic tools; (3) selecting and training a multidisciplinary site visit team; (4) preparation and trust building for 2-day site visits; (5) engaging sites in a participatory approach to data collection; (6) rapid team analysis and triangulation of data sources and methods using a priori charts derived from implementation frameworks; and (7) validation of findings with sites. RESULTS: We used the rapid assessment approach at each of the four ICU sites to evaluate the implementation of the sites'' innovations. Though the ICU projects all included three common components, they were individually developed to suit the local context and had mixed implementation outcomes. We generated in-depth case summaries describing the overall implementation process for each site; implementation barriers and facilitators for all four sites are presented. One of the site case summaries is presented as an example of findings generated using the method. CONCLUSIONS: A rapid team-based approach to qualitative analysis using charts and team discussion using validation techniques, such as member-checking, can be included as part of rapid assessment procedures. Our work demonstrates the value of including rapid assessment procedures for implementation research when time and resources are limited.

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